Labor Day was created to celebrate how American workers have strengthened this country by giving us a three-day weekend to pollute the environment in our boats and RVs. As the VP of Strategic Capital Management for a mid-size bank, I am exactly who this holiday is created to celebrate. Our great nation was built on the backs of people just like me: MBAs who got their jobs through their dad’s business connections and who pull in a $200K salary for a job that mostly involves making PowerPoints and playing golf. I was overdue for time off, not counting the two weeks that I take off in July each year to go to Maui, or the four weeks I took in August to go to Mallorca. Those vacations were so much work that I needed a vacation from my vacation! You get it.
My Saturday and Sunday were fine. Unfortunately, my Labor Day itself was completely ruined this year due to poor customer service and frankly I’ve had enough with people who don’t appreciate this wonderful holiday.
I started my day with a trip to Starbucks for my morning coffee and a bacon-cheddar breakfast sandwich. “Good Labor Day to you!” I said to the barista, who scowled at me, then handed me my coffee with my name spelled wrong and not heated to my exact specified temperature. I let it go, figuring that perhaps she was new to the country or something and was unfamiliar with how those of us who work hard need a day off. I tried not to let it bother me, but the day was downhill from there.
I took the wife and Junior over to Kohl’s because the wife insisted that we all have matching shirts for her Labor Day Instagram posts. We picked out these wonderful American flag T-shirts, only $4.99. The shirts were imported from a sweatshop in Bangladesh, and I shed a tear, thinking of the backbreaking labor my forefathers did negotiating those outsourcing contracts. But then, when we went to pay for the shirts, this cashier told us they were actually $5.99 a piece. I demanded to speak to her manager. Of course, the manager was some young kid, probably only 35. I said, “Excuse me, do you know what today is?” and she had the audacity to say, “Monday.” I explained that today was my special day to honor how much I have sacrificed as a full-time employee with benefits, and an expense account, and a vehicle allowance, and a bonus compensation plan that entitles me to a minimum additional $60K annually, and that I was appalled that Kohl’s would insult me by overcharging me by $3.00. We eventually got those shirts, but you can bet that next Labor Day, I won’t be returning there and dealing with snotty employees who don’t appreciate my celebration.
I was so distressed at this point that when we all went out to Red Lobster for lunch, the wife and I each had to order three signature Tiki Passion Punch cocktails to calm down. The waitress was unconscionably rude and told me she legally couldn’t bring me a fourth Tiki Passion Punch cocktail. I did my civic duty and gave her a lecture on how Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law specifically so that my contributions to American wealth could be commemorated by getting shit-faced at a seafood chain restaurant at 2 PM on a Monday. You bet I didn’t leave a tip. I was ready to go home, but Junior said he didn’t feel comfortable driving us being only 14 and all, so we got an Uber.
The Uber driver was really unprofessional, too, and started telling us about his second and third jobs at a call center and as a bike courier, blah blah blah. I told him straight-up, look, today is Labor Day. I am relaxing with my beautiful family, taking a hard-earned rest after last week’s stressful corporate kayaking retreat, just like the labor unions fought for back in the 1880s. I don’t want to hear about your life when you should be respecting my sacrifices. Honestly, the lack of history knowledge and respect is just appalling, and I hope that he passes on what he learned from me to his grandkids, whose picture he had on the rearview mirror. (Again, it was just shockingly inappropriate to have personal effects like that on display. One star).
My Labor Day may have been ruined, but I hope that by airing my grievances, I can shine light on this horrific problem, and moving forward, today’s entitled and ignorant customer service workers will better understand the importance of this American holiday. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go scream at my maid for not using enough starch on my golf polos. It’s like she doesn’t even understand that some of us work for a living!